Proper Diagnosis of our Natural Condition: I have a big problem if I think I think like God thinks. I’m blind. So are you.
It is silly and tragic to assume your mighty brain is always thinking like God thinks. You and I see things with less than clear vision. It is as if we have tunnel vision looking through smudged prescription bifocals handed to us by someone else. It is like being blind.
The religious leaders in Jesus day were blind according to Jesus. He called them blind guides: “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matthew 23:24). They thought looking good to others by external keeping of various laws made them clean. The problems with this are many. This means they didn’t really understand the laws and were self-satisfied with being better than someone else. They still fell short. Jesus told them they needed to “be perfect like your heavenly Father is perfect.”
I have a big problem if I think I think like God thinks. Nothing could be further from the truth. While I am changing and can take thoughts captive to compare them to what I see in the scriptures, it is clear there is a huge gap. I really do need compassion and pardon and forgiveness. The best way for me to understand God’s thoughts is to read the scriptures for the diagnosis and prescription.
Here is God’s diagnosis and prescription:
1. Everyone is a blind, rebellious, selfish sinner. No exceptions. That is what the Bible says. This reality is evident if you spend any amount of time with anyone. I’ve met many nice people but no one is without serious sinful thoughts, attitudes, words and actions.
2. God says it is futile to think we can change with our own efforts. We all fall short. Even the best of us. Even the religious fall short.
3. God says the right way to respond is to “forsake his way” and repent of our sins (“return to the Lord”) and receive his compassion. His response is certain. He says he will “abundantly pardon.” The pardon is found in the finished work of Jesus we celebrate during the Easter holiday.
4. This means we must agree with God that our thoughts are not like his thoughts. His ways are not like our ways.